Shortly after stopping in Abu Dhabi (well, just 3 hours by plane from there) I was already in India. My 2 weeks full of adventure in this huge country start from this gigantic megapolis, Mumbai. I attended celebrations of Lord Krishna’s Birthday. Hindus from all over the city went out to temples to pay a big tribute to their God born on this day. A great night of celebrations that I will always remember…
I love being in a new place, I love discovering new things and I love cultural exchanges. That was all in one night. The night where Krishna was born. Hindus believe that Krishna is the incarnation of Vishnu, regarded as the preserver of the whole universe. My Indian friend took me to a local temple…
The pressure was a bit high as I was stressed to get into a temple for the very first time. I didn’t know what to do, what not to do and how to be respectful to all believers inside the temple. Or outside… The queue was actually very long as people are overwhelmed and devoted to their God during this day. Well, it could take 15 minutes walk from the door of the Temple but still people in the queue. By the time I got there, it was probably 3 hours to wait…
What to do? Sneak in! I was with locals, my friend Alekha who actually invited me to India and her friend Anket. Also my Spanish friend Elara, she was my buddy at being “lost tourists”. Anyway, we skipped the queue, we got inside. And at the door my excitement was at its top as people around are, they are chanting prayers, sometimes singing while pushing each other so they can all fit in and remember Krishna at the temple.
On the wall of the temple, I could read things like “Who is Krishna?” in English. I was really interested to know but not at the moment, I was just observing then. Music was getting louder as I got nearer to Krishna, represented by some mystical sculptures.
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The whole place was enlighten by the big chandeliers, the colours, the flowers and mainly enlightened by the people themselves. They were engaged in their spiritual traditions and I could feel it very deeply. The energy at this place was highly transcendent. That is when I realised, this is something I have never done before. This is something I’m happy to see. And I realise that no matter what my believes are, I could feel theirs without even understanding who is Lord Krishna or what is Hinduism.
After hearing some interesting stories about Krishna, I’m not so able to say it in details so I quote an interesting part from this website that I recommend for further information:
“Krishna is easily recognized by his representations. Though his skin colour may be depicted as black or dark particularly in murtis, in other images especially modern pictorial representations, Krishna is usually shown with blue skin. He often wears a yellow silk dhoti and peacock feather headgear. Common depictions show him as a little boy, or as a young man in a characteristic relaxed pose, playing the flute. In this form, he usually stands with one leg bent in front of the other and raises a flute to his lips, accompanied by cows, emphasising his position as the divine herdsman -Govinda, or with the gopis (milkmaids).”
I felt like this temple was a oasis in the huge and chaotic megalopolis of Mumbai. It is a place of tranquility, spirituality and meditation. No matter how many people were there, I easily found my inner peace. I enjoyed this event so much that it became my top experience during my whole trip in India. But it was not over…
Over the next days, celebrations were taking place all over the city. From the city centre to all Hindus living rooms, everyone celebrates. One of the main thing to do is attempt a challenge as teams. So basically, a group of people get together to form a human pyramid, the last climber tries to break the “dahi handi” a pot filled with curd and milk products as Krishna loved those.
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Anket invited us to come see that in his building where his family and neighbours organise an intimate celebration where they attempt the same challenge. They had a band playing music which made the evening merrier!
That was my first contact with Hinduism, with Mumbai and with India in general. I stayed 2 weeks there. After almost 5 days in the Bollywood city, I went to Udaipur to discover Rajasthan’s beauty. More articles are coming soon!